Summer has come and gone, and children across Colorado are going back to school. While this can be an exciting time of year for some children, for children whose parents are divorced going back to school can be stressful. It is important for divorced parents to work together to set their child up for success in school.
First, parents should try to be on the same page with regards to the child’s responsibilities at each house. Having the same expectations for homework, bedtime and other daily aspects of a child’s life can bring stability to the child, allowing the child to focus on school. Reviewing child custody and parental visitation orders can help parents note when each of them will have the child in their care during the school year, as well as help parents identify if any modifications to their child custody and visitation orders must be made to accommodate the child’s educational needs.
Another issue that comes up between parents is the cost of the child’s education. The child may go to a private school, where paying tuition will be an issue that divorcing parents need to agree on. However, even those children who attend public school will still need to buy school supplies, pay for certain extracurricular activities and pay for special events, such as a school dance. Some parents may decide that their current child support order covers these extra costs, while other parents may decide to split these expenses. In either case, it is important not to stress a child about how these educational expenses will be paid.
Even after a divorce, parents still share the same goal of raising their child in a healthy and supportive environment. This entails a certain amount of cooperation and communication between parents. Even parents who cannot have a face-to-face conversation can still use text messages and emails to inform one another about the child’s needs. Whether it is a child’s first school year following a divorce, or whether the child’s parents have been divorced for several years, the new school year is a good time to review existing orders to ensure they meet the needs of all involved.